Video gaming’s worst kept secret, the Xbox Series S, has been confirmed once again by Microsoft themselves. Twitter user @BraviaryBrendan purchased a new Xbox controller and it included a Game Pass Ultimate trial code which states it can be used on Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, and Windows 10.
The long rumoured Xbox Series S, the cheaper “Lockheart” variant of Microsoft’s next-gen console, has been leaked from numerous sources including others that have got their hands on the updated Xbox controller designed for the Xbox Series X.
Twitter user Zak S was able to purchase the controller, with its subtly modified form factor, redesigned D-pad and new Share button. The packaging for the controller reveals that is it compatible with “Xbox Series X | S”.
Xbox series X controller found in the wild!! pic.twitter.com/TEns4z45CB
— Zak S (@zakk_exe) August 9, 2020
The Xbox Series S is expected to be a lower powered version of the Xbox Series X, keeping many of the same attributes, such as the ultra-fast SSD storage and Zen 2 CPU, but compromising on the GPU side of things. Where the Xbox Series X is expected to deliver a native 4K resolution, higher frame rates and ray tracing, the cut back “Lockheart” could sacrifice these to reach a lower price point for those buyers without a 4K TV or without as exacting demands from their games graphics, while retaining the minimal loading times and enhanced game worlds that the CPU could provide.
The availability of an Xbox Series S also helps to explain why Microsoft ceased production of their current most powerful console, the Xbox One X. While the Xbox One S remains in production, it will eventually be left behind by next gen game designs, the weakness of its CPU likely to be a key factor in this. That CPU weakness would have remained on Xbox One X.
Not only will this be a future proof option, it will also allow Microsoft to aim for a lower entry price to the next generation, potentially helping to bring more players into their next-gen plans by aiming $100 or more lower than what Sony can manage with the PlayStation 5.